Starting my undergraduate year with online learning in the USA was a strange experience. I had left Nigeria after graduating from a small secondary school with zero online learning experience. I only knew how to operate my phone and a tad bit of knowledge of using a laptop.
Imagine the shock when I took classes online, submitted assignments on time, and took professional exams online. It was bizarre!
See, I was good in my physical classes, and I enjoyed being among fellow learners. In-person learning gives me a unique feeling of joy and helps me to understand a subject better.
In Nigeria, online learning is tedious for several reasons. You are probably reading this article because you are looking for ways to transition smoothly to online learning as a Nigerian university student. There are several tips you will read below, but let’s start with a mindset re-orientation.
MINDSET SHIFT: A Nigerian University student
Do you remember this quote?
“You can do anything you set your mind to.”Benjamin Franklin
The worst thing that could happen to you is setting up your mind for failure. If you think you can’t excel with the new online learning system in some Nigerian universities, there is a high chance you won’t. But, if you determine that you will succeed no matter what, against all network issues and data problems, you definitely will.
This is a simple truth, and if you can back this mindset up with the right tools for success, you will do great.
TRANSITIONING TO ONLINE LEARNING AS A NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENT
Data issue – Cybercafe:
Although online learning is not an unknown subject, it is still a new concept to the majority. Cybercafes are the best alternatives to combat the problem of affordability of data. Cybercafes were popular in the early 20s in Nigeria but gradually declined with the arrival of mobile internet. However, with the issues of network and affordability of data, cybercafes seem to be the best solution for the majority.
Any Nigerian university student can attest to data-related issues. From the inability to afford data to the problem with network providers, data issue is a relatable and widespread problem among students. By using a cybercafe, payment is related to the number of hours you spend, and there is always uninterrupted access to the internet.
“As a student, cafes have been useful for writing assignments, including projects and seminars. Most café workers are computer literates and versed in new technologies.”Hannah Omoye
During the pandemic, teachers could not teach; likewise, students couldn’t read. Even though some teachers tried to engage in online teaching, reading for students became a tough job. I mean, can you blame them?
Gradually, group studying among students has proven effective. Not only does it encourage active participation, but it also instills positive energy among participants.
Having a study group means you have someone who can check up on you, engage in discussions, ask questions, and have a positive academic work attitude. Yes, most activities are now virtual, but it’s possible to have a virtual study group with well-planned itineraries.
Phone Applications/Software needed for a smooth transition:
All these applications are helpful to take notes, study, or attend classes or study groups virtually.
- MS-Word: To create, read, and edit documents.
- MS-PowerPoint: To create, edit, view, present, or share presentations quickly and easily.
- MS-Excel: It is a spreadsheet program used to record and analyze numerical and statistical data. It is also used to perform various operations like calculations, pivot tables, graph tools.
- Adobe Reader: To view, create, manipulate, print, and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF).
- OneNote: To take notes, drawings, screen clippings, and audio commentaries.
- Teams (Microsoft)/Google Classroom: It’s a workspace for classes, assignments, and tests.
- Zoom: A video call app for online study groups, classes, and conferences.
Web-based Education sites:
These applications will aid learning and help to find answers to probing questions you might have.
- Khan Academy: All courses
- Chegg: All courses
- Quizlet: All courses
- Google: You can find answers to any thinkable questions here
- Mathway: Mathematics problems ONLY
- Kahoot: All courses, and a game-based learning platform
The hours pass away quickly nowadays, and something as small as a phone reminder can save the day for you.
It’s crucial to have alarms and reminders because you might become so occupied that you’ll forget important dates and events.
Events such as the time you need to read, observe siesta, chat with a friend, etc., can be inputted into your phone, and your phone will give you a ring when it’s time—the wonders of technology.
A quick tip for you: it’s essential to plan your day either the previous night or as soon as you wake, so you won’t miss out on what you’re supposed to do. This way, your alarms, and reminders can cover your plans.
Dear student, you can do this! And I am rooting for you all the way.
Please, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram if you need help with studying or understanding how to navigate online learning as a Nigerian university student.
I can’t wait to get amazing feedback from you. Have a fantastic online learning experience!